Rattan or Wicker - Is there a difference?
In the majority of cases when people refer to a product as being rattan or wicker they are intending to refer to the same thing. The truth of the matter is slightly different but as far as the intended meaning I believe that people consider the two words as meaning the same thing. The actual meanings are slightly different in that rattan is an actual product where as wicker is not a product.
Rattan is a plant grown in the ground that is found primarily in Indonesia but can also be found in Sir Lanka, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. Rattan is very similar to bamboo in that it is fast growing, strong and versatile. The rattan is grown low down on the forest floor and whilst it can grow to over one hundred metres in length you will rarely see it above two metre in height. It grows and weaves around the forest floor.
Wicker on the other hand is not a plant at all. The word wicker refers to a method of manufacture. A product that is wicker could be made from any number of different materials and it is the process itself that called wicker. Wicker is a process of weaving in and out around a frame to create an object. More often than not it is some sort of piece of furniture but often it can be a basket or matt. There are four well known materials traditionally used when making wicker furniture. These are bamboo, reed, willow and rattan. Rattan is the most popular and hence the reason that the two words are often used to describe the same thing.
In summery I feel it is fair to say that if someone is talking about rattan furniture or wicker furniture they are in fact referring to the same thing. In reality the rattan is an natural product that grows from the ground whereas wicker is a technique of weaving used in furniture production. Here at Zebrano we have found that the public are beginning to use rattan when they really mean wicker. We describe our product as rattan garden furniture when in fact there is no rattan being used. In reality it is in fact a synthetic rattan and we would be more accurate calling the product wicker garden furniture.
Author David Rae